Origin of Boondocks?

OK, I may have something to contribute to science again (don’t ask about the first time, I’m still trying to figure out how to make money off of it).

Also, I distinctly recall seeing threads about the origin of the term “Boondocks,” but search here and in the SD Archives doesn’t turn up anything. I hope I haven’t been imagining it.

So, here we go: I’ve often heard people wondering where, if anywhere, the “Boondocks” are.

And, I think I’ve found them.

While reading Cryptonomicon, a Japanese commander tells Goto Dengo that their Phillipine “base” they are at is called “Bundock.” Being a savvy guy whose lived off the land for awhile knows that “Bundock” is actually a Tagalog word that means roughly “huge freakin’ area where there really isn’t anything.”*

I offer this up as a potential origin of the phrase. Can anyone confirm or deny?

  • Unfortunately, this is paraphrased. I read nearly 400 pages of this book today (250 at the last sitting) and it’s really all melted together. The reference in question is around page 750-800 in the paperback (I want to say 770s) and I’m obviously paraphrasing. If need be, tomorrow I’ll go back and find the exact line.

1910s, from Tagalog bundok “mountain.” Adopted by occupying American soldiers in the Philippines for “remote and wild place.” Reinforced or re-adopted during World War II. Hence, also boondockers “shoes suited for rough terrain” (1953).

Aha. OK, so I didn’t contribute anything to science, but that’s cool.